Friday, March 15, 2013

Unhappiness is Easy---Happiness Takes Work

In week two of Happiness Fridays, out of the book, Happiness is a Serious Problem,
Dennis Prager writes, "I was raised never to take the easy way out.  The easy way is very often the wrong way.......One day the thought occurred to me that being unhappy was easy---in fact, the easy way out--and that it took no courage, effort, or greatness to be unhappy.  Anyone could be unhappy.  True achievement, I realized at an early age, lay in struggling to be happy."

I've experienced the easiness of being unhappy as opposed to the work it takes to be happy.   I've had days that I've let my emotions be ruled by circumstances, people or events, and the fact is that living that way did not make me happy and even now when I let myself be ruled by outer circumstances I feel more uncertain than happy.  

From the book, "The notion that happiness must be constantly worked at comes as news--disconcerting news--to many people.  They assume happiness is a feeling and that this feeling comes as a result of good things that happen to them.  We therefore have little control over how happy we are, the thinking goes, because we can control neither how we feel nor what happens to us."  "  For some reason, that's what I picked up in my growing up years, although I don't think my parents lived their lives that way; I just think I didn't pay that much attention.  I don't think I'd really given it much thought until I went through Rapid Eye Certification classes and began to read and expand my mind.

And lastly, "This book is predicated on the opposite premise:  Happiness is largely, though certainly not entirely, determined by us--through hard work (most particularly by controlling our nature (and through attaining wisdom (i.e., developing attitudes that enable us not to despair)."

 In the coming week let's remember as we have challenges that being happy takes work.  It's almost more enticing to me to take it on as a challenge rather than as something hard.  Whatever works in your mind is what works for you.

"Everything worthwhile in life is attained through hard work.  Happiness is not an exception."      --- Dennis Prager


  1. I wish I'd learned this earlier - that no one can make me happy but me. So many of us look to others, or circumstances, to keep us satisfied, and that's such a false path. People and circumstances will change. All we can control are our actions and our attitude. For me, it's a spiritual avenue as well. True peace/joy is found in Christ. Everything else is temporary.

    1. Mare Ball, I feel the same way. I wish I had realized this earlier in my life so I could teach it to my kids as well. We all have our path and way we learn new things and I'm happy I've just realized it now. Thank you for stopping by!